Friday, November 10, 2006

Histology, PBL, and POD

We had a histology seminar this morning covering the lungs, and it was ok. The presenter was a pathologist, and she had us divide up into groups of three or four people. Each group was supposed to learn about a particular part of the histology of the airways, and then we had to present it to the rest of the class. These kinds of seminars are hard. We all feel like we get to understand the part that we are presenting ourselves well, but we don't get as much out of listening to other students present. Ten minutes really isn't enough time for us to truly learn enough about our topics that we can teach it well to others. Part of the problem too is that most of us don't know very much about histology in general. I say most of us, because one of my PhD classmates knew more about the assigned topic than the pathologist leading us did. All of the other groups, including mine, kind of gave a brief intro, and then the pathologist finished off the topic. She didn't say much of anything for that group, though, because my classmate was just that knowledgeable about those pathways. It reminds me yet again of how amazingly smart my classmates are.

After that, we finished our PBL case. I think that this was a pretty good case, and the concept map we made this week was our best one yet. I'm not just saying that because I was the one who was drawing it! I think it was so good because it was a lot more conceptual than a lot of the ones we have been making in the past. (It was also quite aesthetically symmetrical.) The presentations this week were also especially good. Not that we weren't all putting in the effort before, but we're doing a lot better now with not running over time and with relating our objectives to the case. We are also reaching the point where we usually have some time to discuss each presentation and hammer out concepts we still aren't sure about. I feel like I'm getting more out of PBL now than I was at the beginning of the block.

Our POD seminar today was about asthma. The speaker was an MD, and he spent some of the time telling us about how he got into a career in academic medicine along with telling us about the research he was doing. It was a pretty interesting seminar, and I think that most people liked it. Personally, I found the actual research he was doing to be less interesting versus hearing about his life story. I wish that other POD speakers would tell us more about how they got into their careers in academic medicine and not just about the research itself.

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